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Marketing Lessons from Lady Gaga

Marketing Lessons from Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga is one of the world’s most recognizable entertainers. In the span of less than a decade, she has become a household name, conquering the worlds of music, fashion and celebrity culture.

Since the release of her debut album The Fame in 2008, she has sold 146 million singles and 27 million albums, appeared on The Simpsons, had a recurring role on the cult TV show American Horror Story, made an album of duets with Tony Bennett, released a perfume, and is scheduled to perform at the 2017 Super Bowl halftime show.

Is there anything a dentist can learn from the woman who once wore a dress made out of meat to an awards show? You bet.

Here are three marketing lessons learned from Lady Gaga that will help you grow your practice:

1) Don’t Settle for What Everyone Else is Doing

Lady Gaga made a name for herself not by copying what others were singing but by creating her own unique blend of pop, dance and rock music.

To stand out in a crowded, competitive field, you have to look for ways to continually WOW patients. You can’t settle for just good customer service, because good isn’t good enough anymore. When you and your team amaze patients with extraordinary customer service, they’ll tell their friends and family about the experience, leading to an increase in referrals and new patients.

2) Brand Your Practice and Sharpen Your Image

What makes your practice different? Do you offer specialized services or a wider range of treatments than other practices? Are you a boutique cosmetic practice? Is your office the only one in the area that treats both children and adults?

What you don’t want to be is a bland generic practice. You don’t have to be outrageous like Lady Gaga, but you do want to be known for something. If you’re not sure what your brand is, make a list of all your practice’s attributes, including any special training or skills that you have. This exercise will help you zero in on your competitive advantages. Also, take a look at the competition––how would you describe those offices? What are they doing well and what not so well? Your answers should reveal additional opportunities for effectively branding your practice and positioning it against competing offices.

3) Inspire Your Fans (Patients)

As of this writing, Lady Gaga is the seventh most popular person on Twitter with 64.6 million followers. Ten years ago, she was a singer in a local band; now, she’s a worldwide media phenomenon. Talent and drive are important to her success, but so is her ability to engage with her fans––in person and online. She often responds directly to fan tweets, which wins her even more followers.

Let me get something out of the way… you’re never going to have a million Twitter followers. That’s OK, neither will I. But you can grow your social media audience by…

  • Fully engaging with your patients (and others) when they’re in your office and online
  • Sharing fun stuff happening in the practice, such as contests and patient appreciation events
  • Making it personal––let patients see your “non-dental” side by posting occasional pictures of your pets, your hobbies and your activities
  • Responding promptly to comments, reviews and suggestions

Conclusion

Lady Gaga has seized on opportunities––both traditional and digital––to grow her audience. In a crowded music field, she has found a way to stand out. She has a unique, recognizable brand identity and she continually engages her fans, directly and indirectly. All of which are good lessons for dentists to follow.


Additional Resource

For more on this subject, learn more about our Marketing Consulting Program by clicking here.

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Out of the Blue

Out of the Blue

Where do good ideas come from? Here’s my process…

First, spend a great deal of time—as I do—watching and listening. Take in everything you can, some focused on your profession and some not. Read books. Engage in meaningful conversations with everyone you encounter. Dive into the internet, letting curiosity be your guide.

Then… once your head is filled with a rich mix of facts, images, theories, stories and background noise… shut it all off. Step away from all the chatter and stimulation, so you can mentally relax and simply think.

I’ve discovered a great way to flip the switch. When you have a few free moments, with no patients to see, no staff members to meet with, and no other business to attend to, leave the building. Go outside (do NOT take that smartphone with you!) and just stand there looking at the sky. Aside from the occasional bird or plane and the passing clouds, it represents a blank slate… one that will draw out new ideas based on all that “input” you’ve taken in.

Where do ideas come from? For me, they come out of the blue—sky blue.

Additional Resource

Ideas also come from Dr. Levin’s highly motivating seminars. To hear his latest advice for achieving practice success, check the full schedule of upcoming seminars by clicking one of the links below:

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Thinking About Owning Multiple Practices?

Thinking About Owning Multiple Practices?

In our work with hundreds of dentists and specialists, Levin Group has noted a trend. Many of them are now upgrading the efficiency, productivity and profitability of their practice in preparation for launching a small group practice… consisting of five or more offices.

There are many doctors earning excellent incomes from small groups, and many others who are losing money. Obviously, there are pros and cons to this growth strategy. If you’re thinking about expanding your dental business, you need to understand what you’ll be getting into.

Doing well with one or two offices does not translate directly into operating five, six or 10 locations. Managing a business of this scale poses a whole new set of leadership, managerial, financial, marketing, legal, regulatory, human resources and other challenges. To succeed, you need to develop highly efficient systems and best models in your current situation, ready to roll out in a small group practice.

If your vision is to own multiple practices someday, prepare yourself well for meeting the challenges. And don’t try to go it alone. Line up outside experts to help guide the process and avoid pitfalls or significant mistakes.

Additional Resources

Free Whitepaper – For more advice about implementing this growth strategy, download Dr. Levin’s free whitepaper, “Building a Sustainable Multi-Doctor Practice.” Click here.

ADA Seminar – Attend the ADA’s BIG Idea: Small Group Practicea special day-long conference on Oct. 19, preceding the annual meeting in Denver. Dr. Levin will be one of the speakers at this event. For details, click here.

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Three Reasons to Host Referral Events

Three Reasons to Host Referral Events

One of the best referral marketing strategies is to host an annual educational seminar for referring doctors and/or staff. The day of the seminar represents an opportunity to build relationships and provide valuable information… all during a memorable and enjoyable event. We also teach host practices how to follow up after the seminar to further enhance referral relationships.

The top three reasons to host a referral marketing seminar are:

  1. A referral marketing seminar has real value. With the right speakers and topics, it provides immediate practical takeaways that can improve their practice. This creates strong bonds with referring offices.
  2. Referring doctors see it as positive “payback.” The referral process can feel like a one-way street, benefitting only the specialty office. An educational outreach event shows how much you appreciate their trust, by giving them something powerful in return.
  3. A referral marketing seminar is a wonderful way to say thank you. If a specialty practice wants to increase referrals, it needs to show appreciation… and a referral marketing seminar is one of the most powerful ways to do that. It also showcases the specialty practice for an entire day, enabling the doctor and staff to say “thank you” over and over again.

Educational seminars for referrers belong in every specialty practice’s marketing plan because it takes advantage of dentists’ respect for continuing education and has a direct impact on referral relationships.

Additional Resource

Need a Speaker for Your Next Event? Arrange for Dr. Levin to present a seminar to your referring doctors. A leading expert in practice management and marketing, he’s also one of the most dynamic speakers in dentistry. For details, click here or contact our Seminar Events Manager Rebecca Luwisher at rluwisher@levingroup.com or 443-471-3202.

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New Game. New Rules.

New Game. New Rules.

Many dentists are attempting to play soccer on a football field. It doesn’t work.

Dentistry is no longer what it was. The game has changed. There are new rules. And if you try to run your practice the old way, you’ll lose. Your production will slow down or decline, and your income will suffer.

The key to winning the new game is to understand what’s changed… the number of dentists is increasing… corporate dentistry is growing… dental insurance companies are lowering reimbursements… student loan debt is higher than ever… and there are six other game changers that are reshaping our profession.

This might sound like bad news, but it’s actually a huge opportunity. Just ask any of Levin Group’s clients, who are growing every day. With our guidance, they’re responding to the new rules with results-oriented systems, targets, scripting and checklists. This means really training their team, not just giving them a tip or pearl here or there. It means real management by objectives, rather than merely observing, making occasional comments or ignoring what’s going on in the office.

Playing soccer on a football field won’t work. Running dental practices as we did in the past will not work either.

Additional Resource

Hear what Levin Group clients say about our consulting programs. Discover how much better your practice can be once you learn the new rules from the leading dental practice management and marketing consulting firm. Watch video testimonials here.

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Three Things You Can Learn from Lexus

Three Things You Can Learn from Lexus

Do you remember the origin of Lexus?

It was originally promoted as an advanced Toyota, and few people believed it would be able to break into the luxury car market. But there were three things that Lexus did that made it a powerful player:

First, it was an incredible car. Despite the price tag on many expensive cars at that time, they didn’t always operate properly. Just Google “Audi electronic problems” and you’ll see what I mean.

Second, Lexus introduced incredible customer service. Their dealers were the first to provide loaner cars during repairs, vehicle pick-up when necessary and rapid service response.

Third, they made their customers feel special.

Dental patients want more value than ever for the money they’re spending. They have no idea how to judge the dentistry in clinical terms, so they judge it on the basis of customer service. The truth is that most dental teams don’t yet understand that the way to provide incredible service to patients is with a step-by-step business system… not just a set of personalities.

Follow the Lexus method and your practice production will accelerate like a well-tuned luxury car.

Additional Resource

For a better idea of how to drive practice growth with exceptional customer service, read Dr. Levin’s whitepaper, “Stage III Customer Service.”To download it for free, click here and enter the code LEXUS16 at checkout.

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Two Things You Can Learn from Major League Teams

Two Things You Can Learn from Major League Teams

Major league sports is big business. Look at the NFL… a $14 billion-a-year operation with intense fans who keep it growing every year. How do teams manage to reach such high levels of success?

First, they run continual marketing campaigns to sell tickets. They start long before the season begins and create a groundswell of interest. Some fans spend decades on waiting lists in the hope that seats will become available.

Second, major leagues create excitement and enthusiasm among fans. When I met the head of ticket sales for the Baltimore Ravens, I asked him why people (including me) still go to games when they can stay at home and watch comfortably on a big flat screen. He said that it’s all about energy. Part of his job is to ensure that there’s a level of energy at the stadium that makes fans want to be there rather than at home.

Here are the lessons for your practice. First, have excellent, ongoing internal marketing strategies to increase patient referrals and keep new patients coming to your practice. And, second, make sure you and your team have positive attitudes so that, every time patients come in, they experience incredible energy, enthusiasm and excitement.

Additional Resource

Listen to Dr. Levin’s advice about how to use internal marketing strategies to grow your practice in his free 4-minute video, New Rules – Marketing Means Critical Mass. Click here to watch.

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3 Things about Customer Service

3 Things about Customer Service

Great customer service sets your practice apart from the competition. It motivates patients to keep coming back and it gets them to recommend your practice to people they know.

Here are three things you and your team should be doing:

1) Maintain a positive attitude.

Attitude is everything. It’s how you approach what you do. Don’t fall into the complacency trap of it’s just another day or it’s just another patient. Things won’t always go as planned, but if you can respond positively to challenges, you can get through the toughest of days much more easily.

2) Go the extra mile for all patients.

Most patients would rather be somewhere other than a dental practice. But they have chosen to come to your practice, so you and your team need to treat them like VIPs. That means smiling, extending a warm welcome and making them feel special.

3) Put the care back into oral health care.

You’re treating people––not just their teeth and gums. Put an emphasis on caring and compassion. Many people are nervous about visiting the dentist. Even long-term patients may feel anxious if they have treatment scheduled for something other than hygiene. Do everything you can to put patients at ease. They’ll appreciate it.


 

Additional Resource

For more on this subject, check out Dr. Levin’s whitepaper “What Practices Can Learn from the Ritz-Carlton.

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Don’t Tolerate Poor Performance

Don’t Tolerate Poor Performance

Serving as CEO, team leader and doctor poses many challenges.

One of the biggest is being honest. I’m not saying that dentists are dishonest. Most dentists are honest to a fault in terms of what they say. But there are two types of honesty.

Beyond what you say, there’s the question of what you don’t say. If you’re not speaking up about certain subjects, that’s a form of dishonesty, too. Many of us (and I am definitely including myself here) don’t always say what we should.

As the team leader at your office, do you always tell team members what you’re thinking? Do you point out that you’re not happy with their performance?

We often avoid confrontation, hoping the problem will go away—which almost never happens. Too many team members who could have improved have ended up spiraling downward over time. Had the dentist communicated early on that there was displeasure in the way something was handled, things might have turned out better.

Compassion for the members of your team may lead you to suppress critical comments about their performance or attitude, but that may leave you no choice but to eventually terminate a team member. How compassionate is that?

Far better for everyone if you speak up as soon as you see a problem—and speak honestly. Your silence could have a very negative effect.

The next time you wonder if you should say something about a team member’s performance, make no mistake… you should say it.

 

Additional Resource

For more on this subject, check out Dr. Levin’s popular whitepaper “Level IV Leadership.

 

 

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